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Retroviral retention activates a Syk-dependent HemITAM in human tetherin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-303
Number of pages13
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number3
Early online date10 Sep 2014
Accepted/In press7 Aug 2014
E-pub ahead of print10 Sep 2014
Published10 Sep 2014


King's Authors


Tetherin (BST2/CD317) restricts the release of enveloped viral particles from infected cells. Coupled to this virion retention, hominid tetherins induce proinflammatory gene expression via activating NF-κB. We investigated the events initiating this tetherin-induced signaling and show that physical retention of retroviral particles induces the phosphorylation of conserved tyrosine residues in the cytoplasmic tails of tetherin dimers. This phosphorylation induces the recruitment of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), which is required for downstream NF-κB activation, indicating that the tetherin cytoplasmic tail resembles the hemi-immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (hemITAMs) found in C-type lectin pattern recognition receptors. Retroviral-induced tetherin signaling is coupled to the cortical actin cytoskeleton via the Rac-GAP-containing protein RICH2 (ARHGAP44), and a naturally occurring tetherin polymorphism with reduced RICH2 binding exhibits decreased phosphorylation and NF-κB activation. Thus, upon virion retention, this linkage to the actin cytoskeleton likely triggers tetherin phosphorylation and subsequent signal transduction to induce an antiviral state.

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